ISKCON GBC Guru Condemns Guru System


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 67, Vol 3, 2020

In the BTP 64 article "The GBC's 10 Contradictory Guru Systems" we described the numerous flip-flopping guru systems the GBC has tried implementing over the years, including three iterations involving female diksa gurus ("FDG"). Former GBC member and GBC voted-in guru HH Sivarama Swami ("SRS") condemns the latest FDG guru system, but in doing so he also ends up condemning his own position as a GBC guru! All quotes in shaded boxes are taken from a video talk published by SRS on 14/10/20, with all emphases added.

Faulty and deviant system

SRS states that the latest FDG system is faulty and has resulted in the GBC directly disobeying Srila Prabhupada:

"it's my duty to comment on what I'm convinced of is a faulty decision that has many unseen consequences, and let's say it's a distraction from what Srila Prabhupada wants."

Indeed, SRS considers the GBC's decision-making so bad that he even calls for them to flip-flop yet again and reverse the decision:

"I would suggest reversing the decision. Whether that happens or not, Hare Krsna. But at least I would suggest a moratorium until ISKCON leadership is more mature to make such a decision."

He states that ISKCON's leadership is not "mature" enough to make a decision on whether to make females diksa gurus. Yet ISKCON's leadership decided to make SRS a guru *33* years ago:

"82. That the following devotees are authorized by the GBC Body to initiate disciple. Bhakti Caru Swami, Kavicandra Swami, Trivikrama Swami, Prabavishnu Swami, Shivaram Swami."
(GBC Resolutions 1987)

Thus, if ISKCON's leadership is still not mature enough even now to decide who can be made a diksa guru, then by SRS's logic they surely could not have been mature enough 33 years ago to decide who could be made a diksa guru when they made him a diksa guru. Thus, his GBC-generated guru position would be as untenable as that of female diksa gurus.

Supports deviation

"In short, safer than the current proposal is for ISKCON to do what Srila Prabhupada said and do what Srila Prabhupada did."

SRS states that the GBC's FDG proposal must be rejected in order to obey Srila Prabhupada. Thus, SRS is stating again that the GBC is disobeying Srila Prabhupada in allowing FDG. But disobedience to the guru is considered the greatest offense:

Hridayananda: "[translating] He wants to know if the greatest offense is to disobey the guru."
Srila Prabhupada: "Yes, that is the first offense. Guror avajna sruti-sastra-nindanam. Sruti-sastra-nindanam guror avajna. If you accept guru and again disobey him, then what is your position? [...] Then you are not even a gentleman, what to speak about devotee. This is common sense."
(Lecture, 11/2/75)

Yet, SRS still encourages devotees to follow this disobedient GBC:

"I've always encouraged devotees to follow the GBC, and I'll continue to do that as long as I live. That's what Srila Prabhupada wanted of us, it runs in my veins".

1) Thus, by his own admission, SRS is actively encouraging devotees to commit guru-aparadha by following a GBC that is disobeying Srila Prabhupada.

2) Since SRS is claiming that the GBC is disobeying Srila Prabhupada, he cannot claim Srila Prabhupada wanted us to obey him by following such a GBC, as then SRS would be proposing that we obey Srila Prabhupada by disobeying him!

Equally faulty - 1

SRS argues regarding the FDG system:

"From my perspective the evidence on which the current proposal stands is, it's weak, it's inconclusive and it's selective."

And one of the arguments he gives to support this statement is that Srila Prabhupada supposedly ordered males to be diksa gurus:

"Srila Prabhupada named 11 of his senior devotees, not all GBC men, and he named eleven men, not women, to act in the capacity of diksa guru. That was his choice. [...] he did not make Vaisnavi diksa gurus. He had the opportunity; he was now appointing them."

However, as proved conclusively in the article on pages 6-7, the naming of "11 senior devotees" that SRS refers to was done in the July 9th, 1977 letter, where Srila Prabhupada only named 11 rtviks. There was no mention of diksa gurus. Thus, his theory that by appointing male diksa gurus ("MDG") Srila Prabhupada is showing there were not to be female diksa gurus falls apart, since Srila Prabhupada never appointed any gurus male or female, period. Rather, by using SRS's logic, this would mean that if Srila Prabhupada not appointing FDG is so significant as to mean that he never wanted FDG, then the fact that he never appointed any diksa gurus at all would mean that he did not want any successor diksa gurus either!

Thus, SRS's own argument is "weak", "inconclusive" and "selective", to put it mildly.

Equally faulty – 2

Another of the various arguments SRS gives to support a MDG-only system is:

"Prabhupada and Gaudiya tradition cite those on the level of Jahnava, Gangamata, Sita Thakurani. These are not conditioned souls. So yes, women can initiate, they can even act as acarya, but not, as do men, at the stages of sadhana."

However, the above is another blatantly faulty argument put forward by SRS since Srila Prabhupada stated that only a liberated person, not a conditioned soul, can initiate:

"On the whole, you may know that he is not a liberated person, and therefore, he cannot initiate any person to Krishna Consciousness."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, 26/4/68)

He never gave a dual diksa guru system as invented by SRS:
Women: must be liberated.
Men: can be whatever they want!


As BTP continually documents, any time anyone opens their mouths to support any kind of deviation to Srila Prabhupada's orders – whether successor male or female diksa gurus, or some other disobedience – they inevitably end up talking contradictory nonsense. This is the result of disobedience to Krsna's real representative and current link in the disciplic succession, Srila Prabhupada.

Return to Sivarama Swami Index

Return to "Female Diksa Gurus" Index

Return to IRM Homepage


Please chant: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna, Krishna, Hare, Hare,
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama, Rama, Hare, Hare.
And be Happy!